Great Careers Groups Career Pros & Cons of Embellished Job Titles on LinkedIn™

Pros & Cons of Embellished Job Titles on LinkedIn™


LinkedIn™ is the coliseum for professional branding and networking. Your LinkedIn™ profile, especially your job titles, serves as a beacon, guiding potential employers, clients, and colleagues to your virtual doorstep. 

The debate is on! Should you showcase your titles with embellishments or authenticity?

You can embellish your job titles up to 100 characters or stick strictly to your actual job title(s). There are implications for visibility and credibility in the platform’s search database. Here’s an exploration of some pros and cons.

Pros of Using Embellished Job Titles

Enhanced Visibility: Embellished titles can include strategic keywords that boost your profile’s search visibility. By integrating industry-specific buzzwords or skills, you’re more likely to appear in the recruiter’s search results for those exact qualifications.

Brand Differentiation: Creative titles can help you stand out in a sea of conventional titles. In industries that innovation and creativity, an unusual title can underscore your unique approach to your work and your role.

Narrative Flexibility: Embellished titles allow professionals to craft a narrative that aligns more closely with their career aspirations or the full spectrum of their responsibilities. This can be particularly advantageous for multifaceted roles that transcend traditional boundaries.

Positioning for Future-Forward Aspirations: If there are things you enjoy doing, you can add keywords that are transferable skills or related to your next move, whether it’s a career pivot (different job, same industry) or reinvention (new industry) if you are a job seeker.

Cons of Using Embellished Job Titles

Credibility Risks: If you are a W-2 job seeker, there may be a fine line between embellishment and misrepresentation. Titles that stray too far from your actual role can erode trust with your network and potential employers who value transparency and honesty. Ensure the very first job title on LinkedIn™ matches what is on your resume and what your employer has on record in your employee file.

Confusion and Misinterpretation: Creative titles might be catchy but can also be confusing. Potential contacts might need help understanding the scope of your role, leading to missed connections with those looking for your specific skill set.  It might be better to use only relevant keywords rather than creating a unique phrase.

Mismatch with Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS): Many companies use ATS to screen candidates. These systems may not recognize creative titles, filtering out your profile from potential opportunities even if you’re a perfect fit skill-wise. As previously noted, ensure the first job title on LinkedIn™ matches what is on your resume and what your employer would verify.

Impact on LinkedIn™’s Search Database

LinkedIn™’s search algorithm prioritizes relevance and engagement. While embellished titles with strategic keywords can increase your search visibility, they can also misalign with recruiters’ and hiring managers’ search intentions. 

LinkedIn™’s database categorizes profiles based on several factors, including job titles. An embellished title might land you in searches unrelated to your actual expertise or overlook you for opportunities perfectly matched to your skills but labeled differently.

Striking the Right Balance

Balancing creativity with clarity is the key to leveraging LinkedIn™’s vast networking potential. If you choose to embellish your job title, consider the following tips:

  • For clarity, include your official job title within your profile’s description or experience section.
  • Use keywords strategically but honestly, reflecting your skills and experience without overreaching.
  • Regularly update your profile to reflect your evolving career and ensure alignment with industry-standard titles and terms.

In conclusion, while embellished job titles on LinkedIn™ can enhance visibility and distinguish your profile, they come with credibility and search accuracy risks. 

Balancing creativity with authenticity ensures that your LinkedIn™ presence captures attention and accurately reflects your professional identity, optimizing your opportunities in the digital job market.

A True Story

What’s my take on this subject? I’m in the pro-embellishment camp, and here is why.

One weekend, I had a client who changed his headline and embellished his most recent job title on his LinkedIn™ profile after we completed the keyword research and engaged in data-driven decision-making about what keywords he would use in his profile. He did nothing else to his profile that evening.

Within three days, he received a call from a recruiter searching for two words, and three weeks later, someone flew in from Europe to meet with him. Only one of the keywords was in his headline, while both were in his embellished job title. 

Although there are constant updates on LinkedIn™, and we don’t know what we don’t know about the algorithm, we do know it is a database of information and keywords. So, why not try it and see if it makes a difference for you? 

Why not experiment with embellishing your job titles and see what happens? Nothing is engraved in stone and can be changed.

While you are at it, refresh your profile monthly. Want to know how? Read Refresh Your LinkedIn™ Profile.



Lynne M. Williams is the Executive Director of the Great Careers Groups, a volunteer-run 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides career development and networking connections for 1) job seekers in career transition, including veterans, and 2) employed and self-employed for career management.

Aside from writing keyword-focused content for ATS resumes and LinkedIn™ profiles, Lynne is currently writing her doctoral dissertation on LinkedIn™ for Job Seekers. She is a contributing author on “Applying to Positions” in Find Your Fit: A Practical Guide to Landing the Job You Love, along with the late Dick Bolles, the author of What Color is Your Parachute?, and is also a speaker on career topics.

This article is also published on:,,,, and in the author’s LinkedIn newsletter. A list of articles can also be found in a Google doc.